The cast of West End musical Sister Act are raising their voices today in celebration of the news that the production’s producer and star of the film on which it is based, Whoopi Goldberg, is to join the show for a strictly limited season this summer.
American Goldberg, who played Deloris van Cartier in the hit 1992 film, will make her West End debut when she replaces Sheila Hancock as Mother Superior from 10 to 31 August.
Though this is the first time Goldberg has appeared in London’s West End, the Hollywood star is no stage newcomer, with Broadway credits including A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Xanadu. Her long list of film credits includes Jumpin’ Jack Flash, The Lion King, The Color Purple and Ghost, for which she won an Oscar.
Speaking about Goldberg’s summer arrival, Bill Taylor, CEO of Stage Entertainment UK which produces Sister Act, said: “The Sister Act journey has been an incredible one so far, and Whoopi’s input from the development stage onwards has been invaluable. Now, back in her habit and on stage with our company at the beautiful Palladium, theatregoers get to see a comedy legend at work. To say the Sister Act family is excited might be something of an understatement! This is also a chance to say a goodbye to the indomitable, multi-talented and unspeakably wonderful Sheila Hancock, who has been a mother figure both on and off stage. I can never thank her enough for her part in making the show the success it is today.”
Goldberg joins a cast that includes Laurence Olivier Award nominee Patina Miller, former Blue member Simon Webbe and former EastEnders and Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender.
The hugely popular musical, which features entirely new music by Alan Menken, opened at the London Palladium in June 2009 and went on to receive four Laurence Olivier Award nominations. It tells the tale of disco diva Deloris Van Cartier who, when she witnesses a murder, is hidden in a convent for her own protection. It soon becomes apparent that it is very hard to hide someone as fabulous as Deloris, and her flamboyant nature starts to rub off on the rest of the nuns. But with a gang searching for her, is time running out?